A thought on this week’s Parsha…
One of the Mitzvot in this week’s Parasha is bringing a Korban Todah / thanksgiving-offering. In particular, the Gemara enumerates four types of people who are obligated to give thanks: one who crossed a desert, one who was released from prison, one who was sick and was cured, and one who traversed the sea.
R’ Nosson Sternhartz z”l (1780-1845; foremost student of R’ Nachman of Breslov) writes that one who brings a Korban Todah is not merely giving thanks for his own salvation. Rather, we read in Yeshayah (63:9), “In all their pain, it is painful for Him”–meaning, say our Sages, that when we suffer, Hashem “suffers,” so-to-speak, with us.
How so? R’ Nosson explains: When a Jewish person is sad, the Shechinah is said to be “in exile.” The reason is that sadness and depression often lead a person to sin or, at least, to drown his sorrows in the pursuit of physical pleasures. Either way, the Shechinah is driven out of the picture. In contrast, the joy of salvation followed by a thanksgiving-offering invites Hashem’s Shechinah back into the world.
The Korban Todah is accompanied by forty loaves of bread! Why so much bread? R’ Nosson explains: When Adam sinned, Hashem told him (Bereishit 3:17), “Through sadness you shall eat [bread] all the days of your life.” But, through the joy of revealing Hashem again, one can eat bread without sadness.
Today, notes R’ Nosson, we have no Temple and, therefore, no Korban Todah. Instead, one who experiences a salvation must give thanks joyously, with his full heart.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Avi and Miriam Mammon & family
Parsha Summary for Parshat Vayikra by Rabbi Tendler
1st Aliya: Additional instructions regarding the Olah – ascent offering, and the Mincha – meal offering are detailed.
2nd Aliya: The special meal offering of the Kohain Gadol and the special inaugural meal offering of the regular Kohain is described. This was the same offering in both cases; however, the Kohain Gadol brought his offering every day while the regular Kohain did so only on the day of his inauguration into the service of the Bais Hamikdash. Additional laws of the sin offering, and the guilt offering are detailed.
3rd Aliya: Additional laws of the peace offering are detailed along with those portions of the offering that must be shared with the Kohain.
4th, 5th, 6th, & 7th Aliyot: The remainder of the Parsha describes the first seven days of the inaugural process for Aharon and his four sons. Moshe functioned as the Kohain Gadol to officiate over the inaugural process, and Aharon and his sons were forbidden to leave the Mishkan the entire time.